The funds will enable the center to restore the Italian Renaissance-style architecture of the fifteen-hundred-seat theater, which opened in 1928 and hosted a variety of acts and performers before it closed in the mid-1990s. The project, which got under way earlier this month, is expected to cost more than $32 million.
Considered key to City Center revitalization efforts in Flint, the Capitol's twenty thousand square feet of commercial space is expected to provide new opportunities for area businesses and retailers. The project will be managed by the Whiting, a member of the Flint Cultural Center Corporation, and the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, which recently acquired the facility.
The grant follows the foundation's recent commitment of up to $100 million over the next five years to help Flint respond to its water crisis.
"[T]he challenges presented by the crisis are exactly why projects like the Capitol Theatre are so important to Flint," said Mott Foundation president Ridgway White. "We need to not only reboot, but redouble the forward momentum that was under way before the water crisis struck. By multiplying the reasons for people to live in, work in, and visit the city, we’ll give new spark to the positive energy that will help Flint recover and rise from the crisis."